Category Archives: Quotes/Lyrics

Lay your damnable good works down at Jesus’ feet

“this parable is really the elder brother’s. You know why? Why do you think it ends the way it does? Jesus is basically speaking to Pharisees and He’s inviting all elder brothers to listen to this appeal and to put yourselves in it, and respond. It is participatory theater. And there are a lot of you that you’ve got an elder brother type of heart. And so you’re always mad. You’re mad at those people who have hurt you…and you’re mad at people who’ve hurt you and there are classes of people you look down on. And mainly, you feel like “my life’s not going the way it ought to and I’m the good one in my family and why is it everybody else has broken my parents’ heart and they’re happy and I’m not?” And the reason you are so unhappy is because of your goodness. The main thing between us and God is not our sins as much as our damnable good works. And you’re mad at people and you’re mad at things because “I’ve tried hard, I’ve tried hard and my life is not going right.” Lay your deadly goodness down, down at Jesus’ feet. Stand in Him and Him alone, gloriously complete. We’ll never stop being elder brothers until we see and are melted by what our true elder brother did for us.”

Taken from A Vision For a Gospel Centered Life by Tim Keller

Advertisements

In Christ Alone

Our only hope is to rest in Christ alone.  What a beautiful

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied –
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine –
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

Day After Day

The sovereign rule and reign of God provides a ballast for our souls on the sea of uncertainty in life.  Knowing that nothing happens by chance, catches Him off guard or has not first been filtered through His loving hands is profoundly hopeful.  He is in control of all things and does good to His children.

Men will try to rule the world You made
But we know power is Yours alone to give and take
A day will come when every knee will bow
And every tongue confess that You are Lord both now and forever

Day after day our God is reigning
He’s never shaken, my hope is in the Lord
Time after time our God is faithful
Trustworthy Savior, my hope is in the Lord

The fear of man and what they plan will fade
But we know You alone are God of every day
Like the flowers, man will rise and fall
But You are everlasting, never ending God eternal

Day after day our God is reigning
He’s never shaken, my hope is in the Lord
Time after time our God is faithful
Trustworthy Savior, my hope is in the Lord

Let the songs of adoration rise, our God is reigning up on high
He’s worthy to receive The praise and the glory
Let the songs of adoration rise, our God is reigning up on high
He’s worthy to receive The praise and the glory
Oh, the glory

Day after day our God is reigning
He’s never shaken, my hope is in the Lord
Time after time our God is faithful
Trustworthy Savior, my hope is in the Lord

Day after day our God is reigning
He’s never shaken, my hope is in the Lord
Time after time our God is faithful
Trustworthy Savior, my hope is in the Lord

Cornerstone

Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; it is in His righteousness alone that we will stand faultless before the throne.  Once we have been freed from believing that we are justified OR ACCEPTED based on our performance we begin to see that obedience to Christ’s commands actually lead to greater joy.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly trust in Jesus name

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly trust in Jesus name

Christ alone; cornerstone
Weak made strong; in the Saviour’s love
Through the storm, He is Lord
Lord of all

When Darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil
My anchor holds within the veil

Christ alone; cornerstone
Weak made strong; in the Saviour’s love
Through the storm, He is Lord
Lord of all
He is Lord
Lord of all

Christ alone
Christ alone; cornerstone
Weak made strong; in the Saviour’s love
Through the storm, He is Lord
Lord of all

Christ alone; cornerstone
Weak made strong; in the Saviour’s love
Through the storm, He is Lord
Lord of all

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless stand before the throne.

Heart of the Matter Review

““This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”” (John 6:29 ESV)

What is the work that we need to be doing?  That is the same question that was asked of Jesus in John 6:29.  His answer?  Be disciplined, work hard, feed the poor, love the unloveable, memorize the scriptures?  No.  All of these are good things, but they are secondary things.  The work we need to be doing in our faith is belief:  “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”  The real battle for us is to remember and rely upon the seemingly unbelievable good news of the Gospel – that a good and all powerful God has made a way for rebellious creatures to return and be reconciled with Him.  We don’t forget this in our minds, but the glory of God & His gospel readily creeps out of our hearts.

Heart of the Matter: Daily Reflections for Changing Hearts and Lives by Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation helps us to remember the staggering promises of the gospel by providing short, gospel saturated daily devotions that are aimed at penetrating the reader’s heart.  Paul Tripp, Ed Welch, Timothy S. Lane, William Smith, Michael Emlet, David Powlison and others share profoundly practical & impactful truths on subjects that include fear & anxiety, anger, contentment, faith, relationships, stress, suffering, identity and trials & suffering.  If you find yourself in the battle for belief, then Heart of the Matter: Daily Reflections for Changing Hearts and Lives is an excellent resource to help you on your journey.  It is available from New Growth Press at their online store, Amazon or WTS Books.  You can sign up to win a free copy here.

Free to Love

“Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.” (1 John 2:10 ESV)

You are free to love the people in your life when you love God more than anything. Because their love and acceptance is not your ultimate goal, you won’t be enslaved by your expectations for them and the disappointments that inevitably follow. Jesus is calling you to turn from love of self to love for him. Think about how Jesus has loved you—he lived the perfect life you should have lived, and he died the death you deserved.

When you wake up every morning and interact personally with the one who has done all this for you, your family’s slights and insults won’t plague you in the same way. This won’t be automatic or easy. Jesus said that each of us must take up our cross every day (Luke 9:23).

You must daily die to your self-centeredness by finding your identity in what Jesus has done for you in his life, death, and resurrection. As you do this every day, you will turn from making anything else in creation more important to you than the God who has rescued you from your self-centeredness. Growing as a disciple is gradual, in the same way that the crucifixion was slow and agonizing. As we die to self and embrace our new identity in Christ, God is slowly and patiently bringing us to the end of ourselves, so that he might fill us with the life of Christ.”

by Timothy S. Lane, August 28, p 241.  From Heart of the Matter: Daily Reflections for Changing Hearts and Lives by Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation. Copyright © 2012 by Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation. Used by permission of New Growth Press.

Relational Idols

“And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” (1 John 2:28–3:3 ESV)

“No human being was ever meant to be the source of personal joy and contentment for someone else. Your spouse, your friends, and your children cannot be the sources of your identity. When you seek to define who you are through those relationships, you are asking another sinner to be your personal messiah, to give you the inward rest of soul that only God can give. Only when I have sought my identity in the proper place (in my relationship with God) am I able to put you in the proper place as well. When I relate to you knowing that I am God’s child and the recipient of his grace, I am able to serve and love you.

However, if I am seeking to get identity from you, I will watch you too closely. I will become acutely aware of your weaknesses and failures. I will become overly critical, frustrated, and angry. I will be angry not because you are a sinner, but because you have failed to deliver the one thing I seek from you: identity.

When I remember that Christ has given me everything I need to be the person he has designed me to be, I am free to serve and love you. When I know who I am, I am free to be humble, gentle, patient, forbearing, and loving as we navigate the inevitable messiness of relationships.”

Why doesn’t God just make your relationships better overnight? We often think that if God really cared for us, he would make our relationships easier. In reality, a difficult relationship is a mark of his love and care.

We would prefer that God would just change the relationship, but he won’t be content until the relationship changes us too. This is how God created relationships to function.
What happens in the messiness of relationships is that our hearts are revealed, our weaknesses are exposed, and we start coming to the end of ourselves. Only when this happens do we reach out for the help God alone can provide. Weak and needy people finding their hope in Christ’s grace are what mark a mature relationship.

The most dangerous aspect of your relationships is not your weakness, but your delusions of strength. Self-reliance is almost always a component of a bad relationship.
While we would like to avoid the mess and enjoy deep and intimate community, God says that it is in the very process of working through the mess that intimacy is found.

Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp, February 14, p 45 & January 16, p 16.  From Heart of the Matter: Daily Reflections for Changing Hearts and Lives by Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation. Copyright © 2012 by Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation. Used by permission of New Growth Press.

You Can Rest

“He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:9–14 ESV)

“Feel the futility of it. In the Old Testament, the priests of Israel were required to offer daily sacrifices to atone for sins. Hebrews points out that the fact these sacrifices had to be performed over and over for hundreds of years shows that they were ineffective in removing sin (Hebrews 10:1–2). Let the language of these tasks being “endless” and being required “year after year” make you tired.

But when Jesus comes, acting as our high priest, he makes a sacrifice of his own life and body that pays the debt once and for all. “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12). Jesus, unlike any other priest, completed his work and was able to sit down. Like his Father in Genesis 1, Jesus sits because his labor for us is perfect and complete. In other words,

“It was very good.” Because Jesus rests, you can rest.

Jesus’ death and resurrection embody the promises of Sabbath. His work is perfect; complete. He has redeemed us from our sin. By trusting him and obeying his words and his Spirit within us, we are no longer slaves to our corrupted nature. We are free to be God’s children. His resurrection is a picture and promise of the new life we have now and will have forever when Jesus returns and we are resurrected as well.”

by Winston T. Smith, April 17, 108.  From Heart of the Matter: Daily Reflections for Changing Hearts and Lives by Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation. Copyright © 2012 by Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation. Used by permission of New Growth Press.

Worried?

“Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat. Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them.
O Israel,trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield. O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield. You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.
The LORD has remembered us; he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron; he will bless those who fear the LORD, both the small and the great.
May the LORD give you increase, you and your children! May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth!
The heavens are the LORD’s heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man. The dead do not praise the LORD, nor do any who go down into silence. But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the LORD!” (Psalms 115:1–18 ESV)

All that’s left to do is trust God. But that just happens to be the hardest thing for a human being to do. If it were natural to us, everyone would happily follow Jesus, and divided allegiances would be an aberration. But trust isn’t natural, and divided allegiances are the norm. We are all guilty of little faith and, to make things worse, it isn’t enough to simply understand this. Acknowledging the diagnosis does not automatically lead to a cure. You can confess it, and worry will creep in even during your confession! The cure is not to simply know what the problem is. The cure is to know the one we are called to trust. Keep looking at the triune God and how he has revealed himself throughout history. Don’t spend your time focusing on your wavering allegiances.

How do you seek the kingdom? When you seek the King, you are seeking his kingdom. This kingdom includes everything that comes from him. It includes his law, his grace and mercy, his blessings of life, adoption, and holiness, and all his promises throughout Scripture. Those who seek him feed on his Word and seek to imitate him.

Are you worried? Jesus says there is nothing to worry about. It isn’t our kingdom, it is God’s. We take our cue from the King, and the King is not fretting over anything.

He is in complete control.”

by Edward T. Welch, Dec 17, p 352.  From Heart of the Matter: Daily Reflections for Changing Hearts and Lives by Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation. Copyright © 2012 by Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation. Used by permission of New Growth Press.

Sign up here to win a free copy of Heart of the Matter.

Forgiven

““Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”” (Jeremiah 31:31–34 ESV)

“Is the evidence of having forgiven someone forgetting what he has done to you? Jeremiah 31:34 is often quoted, where God says, “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

There are at least two problems with this understanding of forgiveness. First, it is not realistic. Trying to forget a sin someone has committed against you will only encourage you to remember it. Completely erasing an offense from your memory is not realistic. Second, it is not biblical. Our omniscient God does not forget anything! The word “remember” in Jeremiah 31:34 is not a memory word, but a promise word, a covenant word. God is promising that when we confess our sins, “I will not treat you as your sins deserve. Instead, I will forgive you.” Forgiveness is a past promise you keep in the future. It is very important to understand these two dimensions of forgiveness. If you don’t, you will veer off in one of two equally wrong directions: (1) You will be plagued with doubts about whether you have forgiven someone because you think that forgiving equals forgetting.

Or (2) you will give in to bitterness because you think that, since you have forgiven someone in the past, you are allowed to hold onto the vestiges of hurt in the present. Neither reflects the way God has forgiven us.”

by Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp, May 26, p 147.  From Heart of the Matter: Daily Reflections for Changing Hearts and Lives by Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation. Copyright © 2012 by Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation. Used by permission of New Growth Press.